This recipe for a stove-top New England clambake brings the shore to your table with ease. Adding the ingredients in the right order is the secret to this recipe’s success; the ones that take longest to cook go in first. For this recipe you will need a large pot (18 to 20 quarts) and cheesecloth.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 6 dozen fresh littleneck clams, scrubbed well
- 2 pounds fresh mussels,1 debearded and scrubbed well
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 stalks celery, cut in quarters crosswise
- 6 parsley sprigs
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 1 1/2-pound lobsters2
- 12 small red-skin potatoes, scrubbed
- 6 small onions, peeled
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked, smoked sausage, such as chorizo or kielbasa, cut into 6 pieces
- 6 fresh ears of corn, husked
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Fresh lemon wedges
1. Put the clams, mussels and cornmeal in a large bowl, and add enough cold salted water to cover. Let stand for about 30 minutes to purge the clams and mussels of any sand.
2. Lay a 12-inch piece of cheesecloth on a flat surface. Arrange the celery, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns in the center. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together and tie tightly with string (this is called a bouquet garni). Place the bouquet garni in a very large pot (about 16 to 20 gallons).
3. Fill the pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobsters, head-first, and cover the pot. Boil the lobsters until the shell is bright read, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lobsters to a large bowl.
4. Add the potatoes and onion to the pot. Ladle off enough of the water, leaving enough to cover the vegetables. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Layer the sausages and corn over the vegetables. Cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes more.
5. Rinse the clams thoroughly. Arrange the clams over the corn and sausages. Place the lobsters on top of the clams. Cover the pot and and boil until the clams have oped, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
6. Using tongs, remove the seafood, corn, potatoes, and chorizo to large platters or rimmed baking sheets. Mound the seafood in the center, discarding any unopened clams and mussels. Surround the seafood with the potatoes, corm and sausages. Sprinkle vegetables with slat and pepper. Cover with foil to keep warm.
7. Discard the bouguet garni from the pot and strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the butter, swirling to melt. Divide the broth among 6 small cups to serve with the seafood. Squeeze the lemons over clambake and serve right away.